OpenFit vs. iFit

If the COVID-19 pandemic has been good for anything, it’s certainly fitness apps. With gyms closed, home workouts were all that most people had to stay in shape. In fact, the global fitness app market is expected to grow from about $3 billion in 2019 to $13 billion by the end of 2025, according to research from Valuates Reports. That’s an annual growth rate of more than 25%.

Two of the more popular fitness apps are Openfit and iFit. Taking a look at their similarities and differences, see which might be best for you.

What Is Openfit?

The Openfit app allows members to stream both live and recorded fitness classes, led by personal trainers and group fitness instructors, on most streaming devices. Openfit includes classes in high-intensity interval training, weight training, pilates, barre and almost any other type of workout you can imagine.

The app also includes eating and menu plans for a variety of needs and preferences, such as dietary restrictions, weight loss and nutritional improvement. Openfit also offers a line of dietary supplements from Ladder, a sports nutrition company founded by LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Openfit app is available on Openfit’s website, Apple iOS and Android. It offers a free 14-day trial. After that, membership prices are $8 a month for 12 months, $13 a month for six months and $19 a month for three months, as of December 2021.

[READ: Fitbit vs. Apple Watch for Fitness Tracking.]

What Is iFit?

The iFit app is compatible with both Apple and Android devices. It also pairs with exercise machines like treadmills and stationary bikes. Like Openfit, it offers streaming workouts in a variety of fitness classes including running, cycling, ab workouts, yoga and many more.

The app comes with a free 30-day trial. After that, as of December 2021, it costs $15 a month on a yearly plan, or $39/month on a yearly family plan.

[Read: Best Fitness Apps and Home Workouts.]

What Does a Trainer Think?

Nick Clayton, a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning specialist and owner of Claytonfit.com, takes a closer look at Openfit and iFit.

Openfit. Clayton says this is a good app for basic fitness and group fitness workouts. “If you’re looking for some general fitness and have a decent understanding of how to exercise, this is a good option,” he believes. “The instructors provide solid technique tips, and I really like the convenience of having short yoga and meditation-type workouts available.”

Clayton also likes the nutrition offerings. “It’s on par with some of the nutrition-specific apps out there, like MyFitnessPal,” he says. “You can enter your goals and general info and receive custom recommendations for food suggestions. The tracking is pretty solid as well.”

Clayton’s one complaint is that there is no strength training component for building muscle. However, he believes Openfit provides a lot of value for the price. “One live personal training session will cost about $65. A yoga class is $20. If someone says getting qualified instruction for the cost of a coffee and sandwich isn’t worth it, they’re missing the boat,” he says.

iFit. Since iFit is designed for specific workout devices, you have to own that equipment. If you have that equipment already, iFit is a good choice, Clayton says. “The workouts have quality instruction, and you can set your camera to get feedback from a personal trainer during the live classes,” he explains.

However, the nutrition offerings are not “up to par. There are PDFs that are very generic.”

[READ: Fitness MIRROR Review: Is It Worth It?]

App Comparison: Openfit vs. iFit

Program offerings. Both apps offer a variety of programs that are easy to find and access. “It feels like there are fewer overall programs on Openfit than iFit, but they’re still pretty good,” he says.

Strength training. Both offer a circuit-style approach to fitness, which Clayton says is not ideal for strength. This kind of training isn’t optimal for improving strength unless you’re relatively new to working out, but it’s “fine for getting in shape,” he says.

Nutrition. “I really like the Openfit nutrition section. Way better than iFit,” Clayton says.

Instruction. “I think both companies do a good job of teaching the exercises and providing cues, but for someone who doesn’t have much exercise experience, I’d be a bit hesitant to recommend Openfit,” he says. “I’d recommend starting out with a personal trainer just to learn the basics: how to squat, how to deadlift, how to lunge, how to pull for a row, how to push for pushups and chest presses.”

Bottom line. If you’re looking for a variety of workouts with minimal equipment, Clayton recommends Openfit. “For about $13 per month you have access to fitness programs and quality nutrition support in addition to things like yoga and meditation.”

If your priority is cardio training and you already have — or want to invest in — the equipment, iFit is the way to go. “The cardio sessions are entertaining, following along with cool and unique locations, and may help keep people motivated,” Clayton explains.

Caution Using Apps

But don’t expect to get significantly stronger with either app. “As a personal trainer, I like the convenience and overall quality that both companies offer. However, neither program provides personalized coaching in terms of helping someone get stronger,” Clayton says. “For example, if I have a new client start strength training, I want them to master the bodyweight squat. Then I’ll progress them to more advanced versions of the squat — goblet squat, barbell squat. The same goes for other primary movements. That is the main missing piece.” To find that piece, he recommends pairing these apps with a trip to the gym a few times a week for dedicated strength work.

A few warnings: Clayton would not recommend Openfit’s circuit for individuals with a history of knee, lower back, shoulder and other joint injuries. “I think it’s a decent option if they’re looking for other mind-body and nutrition-related benefits,” he says. “I would be more open to iFit for people with a relatively minor injury history if they’re focused on cardio. If you have knee arthritis and have a stationary bike to stay in shape, that’s OK.”

Clayton also reminds people that they should always clear any new exercise programs with their doctors if they plan to exercise above a moderate intensity level.

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OpenFit vs. iFit originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 01/03/22: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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